The Washington Post published an interesting behind-the-scenes report over the weekend on recent developments in Donald Trump’s White House – based on “interviews with 14 administration officials, presidential friends and outside advisers to the White House.” There’s quite a bit to chew on in the piece, but of particular interest is the president’s “unease” about his oldest son.
CNN had a similar report on Saturday, describing Trump as “concerned” about his oldest son’s legal exposure in the scandal.
…Trump has confided to friends and advisers that he is worried [Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe] could destroy the lives of what he calls “innocent and decent people” – namely Trump Jr., who is under scrutiny by Mueller for his role organizing a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Russians promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.
As one adviser described the president’s thinking, he does not believe his son purposefully broke the law, but is fearful nonetheless that Trump Jr. inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy.
“Trump has been concerned for months now that the Mueller probe could reach his family,” the report added, “and potentially his son-in-law Jared Kushner, but his focus has turned to his namesake in recent weeks, one person who speaks with Trump frequently tells CNN. This is one of several reasons Trump has upped his public attacks on Mueller, because he doesn’t want him touching his family, the person adds.”
The reports prompted the president to rebut the allegations via Twitter yesterday, with Trump calling the claims “a complete fabrication.”
Of course, the president says all kinds of things on Twitter, many of them untrue. The core question remains: does Trump Sr. have anything to worry about when it comes to Trump Jr.?
Possibly. It is illegal, for example, to conspire with foreign agents to intervene in our elections. There are also lingering questions about under-oath comments Trump Jr. made to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
There’s also, of course, the president’s admission over the weekend that his son attended the infamous June 2016 meeting with the Russians because he wanted to “get information” from a foreign adversary to advance his father’s ambitions.
Time will tell what, if anything, comes of this, but the apparent fact that the issue is on the president’s mind – and someone was willing to share this with the Washington Post – is worth keeping in mind.